Friday, November 19, 2010

Friday Fun: A Living Room for Linda

My first attempt at virtual decorating was to get my friend Kelly excited about her new condo.  It was so fun that I mocked up a couple of room options for my mom and myself.  I've made a few more since then, but never gotten around to blogging them.

The boards below were made to help an old family friend redecorate the living room in her new(ish) house.  She rented for decades in and around Santa Fe, and only bought her first house a couple of years ago.  Her rental houses were always heavy on charm, and old adobe in the middle of an orchard, a wood cabin with a loft bedroom on a hillside, a coverted barn with the bath tub in the kitchen.  Her furniture and aesthetic evolved to suit those spaces.  A boxy 60s ranch kind of threw her for a loop. 

After looking at lots of design inspiration images, Linda found herself drawn to the Scandinavian farmhouse look.  The board below was an attempt to show how she could bring about that look.  Muted cool colors, raw wood, shutters instead of curtains, something handmade, and a mix of new and antique furnishings.  (Click images to make larger).

Version two brightened up the colors and added a little more pattern, which I think gave it a more contemporary look.

Version three is based on what will probably actually happen in the space.  She's planning to paint the walls a very pale grey green from Benjamin Moore called Pine Barrens.  She had already purchased one set of natural linen drapes from Pottery Barn, so sticking with that is the most cost effective solution.  More lighting that stylistically reinforces the look will help a lot.

My major suggestions for Linda were painting the walls, which were a "neutral" yellowish tan color (seen here), rearranging her furniture, and restyling her bookshelves.  Both the fireplace and the bookshelves are focal points, so I wanted her to open up the site lines between the two, as well as traffic flow.  Linda has two nice Danish modern style armchairs and a new off white sofa, as well as a wall of IKEA Billy bookshelves.  I wanted to illustrate that she could adjust the personality of the room really easily by changing up little things like curtains, carpets, lamps and throw pillows.  She loves the new furniture arrangement and is planning to paint the walls over the Thanksgiving break.  I can't wait to see more progress!


  1. Ahhh! How cool is this?! I love the pops of color in Version 2. Also, I can give a personal thumbs up to a wall of Ikea Billy bookcases - I adore mine.

  2. I love version #1! Do you do a lot of photoshop to create these boards? They're great - really effective.

  3. @Emma-- it's a combo of Photoshop and Illustrator. I crop out all backgrounds, change colors or perspectives as needed in Photoshop, then I assemble the room, so to speak, in Illustrator because the layering and text capabilities are much better.